“In the early ANC years we attracted investors, created jobs, cut inflation, improved living standards, enjoyed social harmony and achieved globally competitive growth.  The Rainbow Nation was headed for heady heights.  Communists and socialists were miserable.  To maximise power they needed dependency.  So they produced a plunder-and-repress strategy.  They salivated with glee when the latest Economic Freedom of the World index was released on Tuesday.  Having noticed that countries rising on the index prospered, they drove us down from the 42nd (7.09) freest economy in 2000 to 96th (6.74)”.

Read Leon Louw’s latest column SA robust despite the enemies of prosperity first published by Business Day on BDlive on 16 September 2015.

Further excerpts

IT IS amazing how unco-operative citizens are when their government wants to destroy the economy.  No matter how hard the government tries, subjects carry on producing and exchanging wealth.  Getting people to be poor turns out to be very difficult.

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Despite all of this, the economy remains robust.  Things are just not bad enough.  When communist ministers hear rumours of nefarious capitalists considering investing here, they say anything they can think of to frighten them off.  Too many people, especially blacks who are meant to be destitute, pay for quality healthcare instead of going to roach-infested government hospitals.  They will tighten the noose until we revert to Homo naledi lifestyles.  One of their promising stratagems is the Financial Services Board.  It answers to no one, makes whatever laws it wishes, and imports global best practices that stifle an effervescent financial sector.

Mining policy is a seminal success.  Local and foreign investors have finally relented and are going elsewhere.  The anti-mining ministry is increasing the number, size and incompetence of wealth-wasting nationalised mines.

Our beleaguered communists and socialists need all the help they can get.  Their public enterprises minister, Lynne Brown, sent shivers down their spines when she used the verboten p-word (privatise).  She was assuring them that it would never happen, which means it will happen after three denials.

Communists and socialists need consumers, especially black consumers, to be poor.  But how do they keep them from buying expensive cars, smartphones, houses and businesses in the free market?  The only way to prevent happiness will be to keep driving us towards the bottom of the economic freedom index.